Google officially announces the introduction of paid ads in local snack pack results. No date yet but Brace yourself for fierce competition and breaking the piggy bank.
Google officially announces the introduction of paid add placement in Local pack results.
Hi there I’m Luc DURAND. Welcome to ranking academy’s latest local marketing news.
It’s official, Google has announced that they will be introducing ads in what is known as the Local pack or snack pack results.
This was revealed at the Search Engine Marketing expo which took place in Seattle on the 21st June.
With 4 in 5 consumers using search engines to find local information Google’s decision doesn’t come as a surprise.
This is the latest shift in the local search display format in Google which has seen drastic changes over the past 12 months.
You may remember that back in august 2015 google reduced the number of local listings from 7 to 3 in the local pack which has had huge consequences for any local business.
Any small business with more than 2 competitors in his location had to work a lot harder to be listed as part of the coveted 3 spots.
This move seems to be tying in very well with the roll out of ads in the Google maps Local finder which were first spotted back in April this year.
During the conference Google showed what the new snack pack might look like.
The image is not available for distribution yet but one Local expert (joy Hawkins) who attended the conference took a snapshot of it. I have created a mock-up for you to see what you can expect.
It looks like Google is planning to include an add to the snack pack to the detriment of 1 local listing leaving room to just two organic results.
This is not set in stone just yet as Google is still apparently in the testing phase. Their Product Lead for Local Ads, Ali Turhan, said it is possible the local pack will retain three organic listings even though that’s not what the screen shot they displayed during the conference suggested.
So what does it mean for small businesses?
Whatever Google decides to do means it will be increasingly harder for small businesses to be visible.
Even if Google keeps 3 organic listings, the introduction of an add placement will push organic results further down. It will clearly be a lot worse if they decide to cull one organic listing.
On the plus side, for businesses who were struggling to make the snack pack list organically, they will now have the opportunity to be ahead of the pack if they are willing to pay.
What does it mean for local marketers?
Managing expectations will be key and educating their clients on how difficult it is to hit top spot will be essential.
It might also mean adjusting their fees accordingly as It is likely to take longer to get their clients listed in the snack pack and therefore cost more.
What does it mean for Google
So when is google introducing paid add placement in Local pack results?
No official date has been communicated by Google. As these things go they tend to be rolled out in the US first so I guess we’ll have to wait but something tells me we won’t have to wait for long.
Goodbye and thank you for watching ranking academy’s local marketing news.